Title Page, Copyright, Acknowledgments, Dedication

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Contents

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Part I

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Holiday

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p. 15

Silly Love Songs

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p. 16

Yes

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p. 17

There Must Be Music or Fear

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p. 18

An Empty House Is the Loudest Music

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p. 19

Isn’t, Isn’t Here

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p. 20

Two Coasts, The Sea Beside

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pp. 21-23

Border Reports

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p. 24

We Are Not Like Other People& Do Not Need Them

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p. 25

What You Think of Me

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p. 26

Candidate

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p. 27

Sibling Rivalry

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pp. 28-29

Parade

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p. 30

The Answer Man at the Circus

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p. 31

Hungry. Sorry.

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p. 32

New Year’s Eve

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p. 33

Stay

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pp. 34-35

Gone & Gone

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pp. 36-38

Part II

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Symphonie Fantastique

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pp. 41-42

What Matters (1984)

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pp. 43-45

The Answer Man at the Arena

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p. 46

Drawing the Storm

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pp. 47-49

My Father’s Hands Are Warm

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p. 50

The Fear That If You Turn AwayEverything Will Change

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p. 51

The Bad Gene

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pp. 52-55

Strong

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p. 56

Part III

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Every Week He Wants To Be Better

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pp. 59-60

Nothing That Lasts

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p. 61

Children’s Games (After Bruegel)

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p. 62

Confessional

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p. 63

Ventriloquist’s Mark

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p. 64

Lament

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p. 65

Proposal

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p. 66

Sunglasses & Hats

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p. 67

That Same Joke

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pp. 68-69

The Body’s Case

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pp. 70-71

Not My

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p. 72

In Search of the Sublime

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p. 73

The Answer Man at the Crucifixion

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p. 74

Mother May I

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pp. 75-78

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About the Poet

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Rodney Wittwer is a native of Wisconsin and currently lives in West Medford, Massachusetts. He received a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981 and his MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University in 1983. After moving to Boston, he spent sixteen years as the director of operations for the Hub Group ...